- Scientists from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) discover two dwarf giraffes for the first time in Africa.
- One giraffe was found in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda in 2015 and another on a private farm in central Namibia in 2018.
- The giraffe seen in Uganda was named “Gimli” after the character of Lord of the Rings, while the Namibian giraffe was named “Nigel”.
- Compared to the expected height of 15-20 feet, Gimli is only 9 feet tall, while Nigel is only 8 feet tall.
- They have skeletal dysplasia, a condition that affects bone growth and often results in short stature.
Two dwarf giraffes have been discovered in Africa by scientists from Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).
One giraffe was found in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda in 2015 and another on a private farm in central Namibia in 2018.
The giraffe in Uganda is called “Gimli” in honor of the character “The Lord of the Rings”, while in Namibia it is called “Nigel”.
Compared to an expected height of 15 to 20 feet, Gimli is only 9 feet tall, while Nigel, who was born in 2014, is 8 feet smaller despite being four years old when scientists first discovered him which is an age at which males tend to be inclined. Giraffe to full development and near maturity.
“While the Namibian farmer had seen Nigel regularly over the years, after our observations it was revealed that Nigel was not a young man but rather a fully grown male giraffe. Compared to other giraffes, the difference in height becomes apparent,” said GCF researcher Emma Wells in a press release. .
Using digital imaging techniques, researchers measured the giraffe and compared it to others in the local population. They found they had skeletal dysplasia, which affects bone growth and often leads to short stature.
Although it has occurred in humans and pets such as dogs, cows, and pigs in the past, stunting has rarely appeared among wild animals, and this is the first time it has been seen in giraffes.
The results have been published in British Medical Journal.
“Cases of wild animals with this type of bone dysplasia are extremely rare. It is another interesting aspect of the unique history of giraffes in these diverse ecosystems,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Michael Brown, in a press release.
The giraffe population in Africa has decreased dramatically in the past 30 years. The Green Climate Fund estimates that there are only about 111,000 of the world’s tallest land animals left.
Dr Julian Vinacy, Director and Co-Founder of the Green Climate Fund, added: “ Giraffes are undergoing a silent extinction in Africa. This is the first description of the dwarf giraffe and it is just another example of how little we know about these charismatic animals.
“There is a lot to learn about giraffes in Africa, and we must stand firm now to save them before it is too late,” he concluded.
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